I’m Clare, the founder of The Flower Farm. I fell in love with flowers by accident.
I really, really wanted to be a vet when I was at school, it was my dream job as I loved animals. But when it came to sorting out my two week high school work experience I couldn’t find a vets to take me, I was absolutely heart broken.
The school then had to find me a different placement and I ended up at a florist shop. For the first few days I wasn’t keen, it just wasn’t the vets, but then slowly I began to enjoy it. I loved working with my hands, but also the creativity involved and the fact you could create something beautiful that made customers smile. By the end of the fortnight I was in love.
After I left school I studied floristry full time, as well as working in various shops. I gained the highest floristry qualification in the country, which was a very difficult theory and practical exam which only about 25% of entrants passed, I was totally made up and loving what I was doing.
I went on to teach floral art as a higher education lecturer at Myerscough college. Then I got married to Drew my lovely husband and we started our family, Ben was our first born, and he used to come with me to the nursery based at the college, but he hated the commute, over an hour sat in traffic with a screaming baby every morning and night was just too much and I knew I had to change direction.
So, The Flower Farm was born in 2007, I began by working from a barn on my parents farm, it was so chilly and we had no where to hold consultations, that didn’t include dogs barking, so I drove to brides houses in order to discuss there wedding flowers. My main problem at that time was finding good, reliable wholesalers to buy the flowers from. I could create the designs, but without the top quality blooms I wanted it was difficult, and very stressful.
Then in 2011 I heard about a fledgling network devoted to bringing back British grown flowers, the beautiful garden style blooms that I was really struggling to source. I went on a one day workshop with the fabulous founder Gill Hodgson and I was hooked. I just knew that growing our own flowers was the way to go, so in 2012, we started to grow on a small plot of land behind my house, and they where a success, even though it was the coldest winter in decades and so wet. I knew we could run with this. I became one of the first members of Flowers From The Farm, and regional coordinator for the North West, a post I still hold today.
Every year since then, we have grown more and more of our own flowers to fulfil our wedding orders, without the worry and stress of not knowing what the wholesaler may or may not deliver. Next year may bring even more stress to florists with the unknown of Brexit and what will happen with regard to flower imports and prices, hopefully with growing so many flowers ourselves it shouldn’t be as much of an issue to us or our brides.